The Cable Guys presents works by four artists: Alice Channer, Paul Sharits, Seth Price and Spiros Hadjidjanos. As indicated by its title, the exhibition relies on various appropriative tendencies, yet it does not seek to undermine the (already undermined) notions of creativity, artistic signature and unalienated labor. In this way it bypasses the institutional discourse of appropriation art and the outdated distinction between authentic, singular authorship and authorship as problematized or critical act.
The reference to cable television via the movie The Cable Guy, a famous 1996 Hollywood comedy starring Jim Carrey, provides the exhibition with a concrete historical atmosphere, taking us back to the foundational cultural moment before the Internet, wireless communication, and their derivative by-products went global.
The opening installation of the exhibition is Spiros Hadjidjanos’ Network Sculptures (2010-2014), lain across the floor of the gallery’s entrance hall. Each of the two sculptures is an arrangement of four pairs of curvy aluminum rods in a double-helix pattern, recalling a three-dimensional diagrammatic representation of sine waves. Ethernet cables emerge from either end of each sculpture, connecting them with each other and to the gallery’s LAN (Local Area Network), which is transmitted through the rods.
The works comprising The Cable Guys are generated by technologically predetermined processes, inherently devoid of positivist artistic engagement. Nevertheless, the intentional artistic disengagement from the programmed execution of the works enables the excluded artists to distribute and assimilate themselves into the operative logic of their applied technologies.